Four baskets with lids
African, Rwanda, Tutsi peoples
mid 20th century
Overall: 62.5 x 25 cm (24 5/8 x 9 13/16 in.)
Not On View
The long-standing role of baskets and the basketry tradition in the lives of the Tutsi in Rwanda has resulted in an art form that serves both a utilitarian function and aesthetic beauty. Originally used to hold jewelry and currency, the baskets evolved into prestige objects, and conferred status on a place. The basket lid replicated the shape of buildings in the region - woven structures with conical roofs. Basket weaving remains one of the most widespread art forms among the Tutsi, and these baskets represent designs that have been woven in many cases for centuries.
1972, acquired from a workshop at the University of Rwanda, Butare, by Jean and John Stanbury; 2010, gift of Jean and John Stanbury to the MFA. (Accession date: April 14, 2010)
Gift of Jean and John Stanbury